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UPDATE: Death toll from flu in Tri Cities jumps to 21

The CDC continues to classify flu as widespread in their latest data reports. Locally, Ballad Health reports 21 deaths from the flu. (MGN)

The death toll from the flu continues to rise in the Tri Cities as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention record their highest level ever for hospitalizations due to the outbreak.

Data released Tuesday by Ballad Health shows 21 deaths have been reported based on information from all their facilities as well as 3,743 positive cases of flu confirmed in area emergency rooms.

Forbes reported CDC data early Tuesday that showed the hospitalization rate per 100,000 people in the U.S. is currently 59.9 percent after 18 weeks of flu season. In the 2014 outbreak, it took 25 weeks to reach that percentage, the report said. The federal agency is also reporting that deaths nationwide from flu are on track to eclipse the 56,000 mark also set in 2014.

A majority of states in the U.S. are still listing the flu as widespread throughout their health districts. The total of pediatric deaths related to the flu has risen to 63, according to the latest round of CDC reports for the week ending Feb. 3.

#Clinicians: The majority of flu illness so far this season has been caused by influenza A H3N2 viruses, but we are seeing a growing proportion of influenza H1N1 and B viruses. Get the latest seasonal guidance on #flu and treatment here: https://t.co/tnydxRW8ru pic.twitter.com/i18h31bMJ0— CDC Flu (@CDCFlu) February 13, 2018

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